Thursday, December 1, 2011

Firestone Walker Brewing Company's Double Jack Double IPA

Paso Robles is not only home to vineyards and winemakers, but it is also home to one craft brewer with a rather impressive portfolio of beers.  The brewer is Firestone Walker.  Beginning in 1996, two brothers-in-law began to brew their own beer.  Nearly sixteen years later, they have earned multiple awards for their brewery and their beers, including the Champion Mid-Size Brewery in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Like most brewers, Firestone Walker has brewed a "series" of beers, which it calls its "Proprietors Reserve Series."  One of the beers in this series is the Double Jack Double IPA.  Firestone Walker brews the Double Jack in the style of an American Imperial Pale Ale.  The brewer uses Premium Two Row Malts (Metcalf and Kendall varieties), Munich and Simpson's Light Malts, as well as a range of hops.  The hops include Warrior and Columbus hops as bittering hops; Centennial and Cascade hops as late kettle hops; and Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops for dry hops.

The Double Jack pours a golden color, with orange hues.   The aromatic elements are very interesting, ranging from bright citrus fruits to grass.  These aromas result from the use of different hops. The citrus aromas carry over to the taste of the Double Jack, with flavors of grapefruit, tangerines, and lemon leading each taste.  The lemon carries over to the finish of the beer, along with a warm alcohol feeling.  That alcohol is reminiscent of caramel, providing a little unexpected sweetness in the finish.

Double IPAs like the Double Jack are very strong beers.  This beer has an ABV of 9.5% and a high IBU.  For this reason, the beer should be paired with strong foods, like roasted meats, hard cheeses, and grilled vegetables. 

The Double Jack is available in fourteen states across the United States.  It is available in twenty-two ounce bottles. 


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